My little sister has an eating disorder...how do I get her help?

Amy - posted on 04/07/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I am 26 and I'm my 16 year old sister's legal guardian as of January because our parents had some problems with the law. I know it's been very hard on my little sister because having your parents in jail is never an easy thing to deal with. Ever since the whole thing happened she has been showing some very weird eating habits. Well actually, non-eating habits. I try to get her to eat but she'll say that she ate before (which I always know that she hasn't) or that she isn't hungry because she was stressed out and lost her appetite. She is losing a lot of weight and I'm very worried. She had a very important volleyball tournament a couple days ago in another state, and it was a 3 day tournament. I had some work things to do but I went to go watch her team on the last day of the tournament. She fainted during the game before their championship match. It was only for a few seconds but enough to scare me half to death. She admitted to me that she hadn't eaten anything during all 3 days of the tournament. Three days without food, while playing an intense sport for 10 hours straight each day!! I then told her coach that she wasn't going to be able to stay for the championship and took her to Arby's. She was so pissed off at me, and I literally force fed her an Arby's burger. I am so scared for her and worried about her. I don't know if I did the right thing by making her leave early, but then again I really don't know anything about parenting. I was kind of thrust into this without warning and so I honestly don't know what to do! Do I take her to the doctor, or is it just something that will pass with time? She's very underweight and she's lost about 35 lbs since January. I am so confused and worried. Thank you so much.

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You must absolutely get her to a competent psychiatrist and pediatrician to evaluate her for anorexia and a family counseling is an absolute requirement! My best friend in high school almost died twice from anorexia. Trying to force her to eat or punishing her for not eating is going to backfire spectacularly.

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Dove - posted on 04/07/2012

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If you can get her to eat for now... take her to the doctor on Monday. If you can't get her to eat.... take her in to the ER tomorrow morning.



She needs help asap. Tell the doctor everything and he/she will be able to point you in the right direction.

Amy - posted on 04/07/2012

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I agree with Michelle she needs professional help. I would definitely speak to a doctor but I would also enlist the support of her coach! He/she may be able to speak to her and let her know that if she doesn't address this and get help she wont be able to stay in the team. I would utilize ever source available to you including teachers, 35 lbs is a lot to lose in just a few months time!

Michelle - posted on 04/07/2012

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She does need professional help. Start with the doctor and tell them your concerns. Eating disorders are an illmess that need to be treated before it's too late.

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